Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson filed a lawsuit against Amazon.com Wednesday in which he claims that the e-commerce company allows and promotes the sale of unlicensed merchandise using his image.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in the Southern District of Florida, accused Amazon of offering online shoppers the ability to purchase items bearing slogans related to Jackson’s status as a reigning NFL MVP. Without Jackson’s permission, Amazon is facilitating the sale of shirts emblazoned with lines like âLamarvelous,â âAction Jackson,â and âNot bad for a running back,â according to the lawsuit.
Jackson runs his own online merchandise business, Era8Clothes. Unlike some of the biggest stars in the NFL, he hasn’t made a known sponsorship deal with a big sporting goods company like Nike, Adidas, or Under Armor.
In the lawsuit, obtained Thursday by PennLive, Jackson claims that Amazon willfully violated its advertising rights and misled customers into believing the 23-year-old appellant has agreed to promote the clothing available on Amazon.com.
The lawsuit also says Amazon’s actions caused “significant damage” to Jackson’s brand and his own clothing company.
Mitchel Chusid and Jordan R. Chusid, attorneys based near Jackson’s South Florida home, filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Ravens quarterback.
The lawsuit asks the court to require Amazon to account for sales generated from merchandise bearing Jackson’s name, image or likeness and to ban the website from offering such items without permission. He’s also asking the court to award Jackson compensation for the damage Amazon inflicted on him and his business.
Neither Jackson nor the NFL have given Amazon permission to promote or sell material featuring the quarterback’s image or quotes, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit says Jackson asked Amazon to remove the clothing from its site.
Last year, Jackson broke a single-season NFL record with 1,206 rushing yards as a quarterback and scored 36 touchdowns, a new record in Ravens franchise history.
The lawsuit claims Jackson is one of the most marketable athletes in the sports world who took care to protect his publicity rights and start his own business.
Amazon is “not related or affiliated with Jackson in any way,” according to the lawsuit. “In fact, the defendants blatantly exploit Jackson’s fame for their own commercial gain.”
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